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“Worth every penny -- and you can save some pennies too!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Halekulani Hotel

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Halekulani Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815 (Waikiki)   |  
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Ranked #4 of 82 Hotels in Honolulu
New York
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
“Worth every penny -- and you can save some pennies too!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

If you are looking for a civilized vacation, look no further. With the most appealing pool area around, an atmosphere of relaxed understated elegance throughout, uniformly excellent rooms and friendly service, this is almost certainly the best bet in Waikiki.

For a special occasion, we sprang for an ocean front room with a spectacular view of Diamond Head. It was worth the $760 a night price (including breakfast). But you can save as much as $200 a night and still have a luxurious room with a pleasant view. Except for the pricey suites, all the rooms are very similar, with the rate mainly determined by the view. Even the cheapest rooms overlook beautiful gardens. Here "garden view" is not a euphemism for "parking-lot view."

The rooms aren't glitzy or lavish, but they are comfortable and tasteful. Every room has a sofa (a bit small) and terrace (lanai in Hawaii-speak). Closet space is ample and the bathrooms are luxurious. We appreciated having a separate stall shower as well tub. The bed was superb.

The beach immediately in front of the hotel is skimpy. But the spacious pool area is perhaps the hotel's greatest plus. During our week's stay, there was never once a shortage of desirable lounge chairs. There is only one pool, but it is large and beautiful. This contrasts with the surprisingly small pools and cramped pool areas at some of the Halekulani's upscale competitors nearby.

There is nothing even remotely like a water slide at this hotel. The lack of such facilities may make this a poor choice for family with older children. But there were a number of small kids -- almost all beautifully behaved. This may be one place where all the children really are "above average."

We usually had breakfast at the informal "House Without a Key" restaurant, which serves a nice buffet in a pleasant indoor/outdoor setting. We tried the special Sunday brunch, really a buffet lunch, at the somewhat more formal "Orchids" restaurant. Except for the excellent desserts, the food wasn't fabulous, but it was good -- as it should be at $57 a head. We dined once at the top restaurant, La Mer. The room and the ocean view were spectacular. The food was better than most resort food, but wasn't distinguished enough to justify the $110 minimum prix fixe.

There are many excellent dining options at various prices nearby. The branch of Nobu right across the street serves interesting Japanese (or sort-of-Japanese) food, though a hungry person would have to order lots of exquisite little plates to leave feeling full. We found the Italian restaurant Taormina a block or so away served very good food at fair prices. We thought the front tables were the most appealing. Il Lupino near the Royal Hawaiian Hotel was also good for the price, though the service was slow. Half a block from the hotel a branch of the excellent ABC convenience-story chain offered surprisingly good take-out. A couple of times, we bought lunch there and enjoyed it on our lanai overlooking Waikiki Beach -- for under $10 a head.

The Halekulani's location couldn't be more convenient. Nearby branches of Hermes, Louis Vuitton and others should supply all your vacation necessities. The extensive local bus service took us all over town. (We found Chinatown very disappointing, but the Diamond Head excursion was spectacular.)

So, any quibbles? Yes. If you are dreaming of a romantic moonlit swim in the pool, forget it -- the pool closes about 6 p.m. Also, for some bizarre reason, there are no coffee pots in the rooms.

Other than that, go for it!

Room Tip: Probably no such thing as an undesirable room here.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (244)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

The Halekulani is like no other hotel in Waikiki. The entire resort feels seculded from the typical hustle and bustle of Waikiki and the other hotels. This is the place to stay if you are looking for a luxurious, serene stay in Waikiki. We have vacationed on Oahu every year since 2002 and have stayed in almost all of the beachfront hotels. From now on, we will save the extra money to stay here every time. It's work the premium.

The hotel is Honolulu timeless luxury at its finest and has defied the trendy-luxury concept found at the Trump or Modern. It is not a Maui super-luxury resort with tons of family and children's programs.

The bell/ valet staff were attentive and prompt. Most imporantly though, they were professionals. They greeted us promptly, welcomed us to the hotel and escorted us to check-in and made us feel like our luggage was in good hands.

While check-in was is efficient , it is a little clunky. In theory, check-in is handled in the room which makes sense to reduce the time standing in line and waiting to get to the room. In practice though, I handed off my credit card, confirmed my dates, and really checked-in at reception. I expected to handle this entire transaction in the room, but instead the in-room check in is really more of a hotel orientation and the only check-in activity is signing the room charge receipt. It does give a good reason to send us up to the room with a member of the staff to point out the hotel and room amenities though.

We stayed in the lowest price "garden" room. We were on the 5th floor which boasts extended lanais. From what we could tell, there really is not a bad room in the house. We stayed here once before in a Diamond Head view room and were interested to see what a lower priced category offered, even the garden view rooms have a view of the ocean from the lanai. The room was huge and comfortable. Bath amenities are well appointed, and bed and linens are luxury quality

We were here on a dual purpose business/ leisure trip. The hotel accomodates both very well. Wi-fi is speedy and easy to access anywhere in the hotel. The Living Room offers a perfect place to slave away at work in an environment that is much more pleasing than an office.

The pool area is the daytime highlight of the hotel. The pool area is beautiful and lounge chairs are comfortable. My only issue during this stay is the pool service waiter kept coming through yelling "Drinks" like we were at a ballpark. Please Halekulani, a little re-training in luxury service
for your staff.

Some people complain about the adjacent beach. I think it is perfect for the size of the hotel. The sand is better, and the traffic is much less. If you don't like the size, DeRussey beach is a 5 minute walk to the right and the main Waikiki strip is 5 minutes to the left.

Room Tip: Iconic view rooms are the Diamond Head Ocean but there isn't a bad room in the place. 5th floor...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

Our disappointing experience started at check in when, after registering, we were directed to a tiny bench barely big enough for two people to sit and told to wait for someone to escort us to our room. After 10 minutes i went back to the desk and asked if we could just have our room key. Nope. We had to wait for everyone else in line to check in before one of the reception staff was finally free to take us to our room. The rest of the hotel services followed the same pattern. Very poor poolside drink service. Very bothersome housekeeping service who knocked on the door early each morning despite the "do not disturb light". Turn down service was attempted at 5:45pm each day. I asked that they return at 8 when we would be at dinner and they never returned...on any day. We've had more courteous service at much less expensive hotels. The Halekulani has the best views on Waikiki but you can enjoy a drink at Sunset without staying at the hotel. It is very unlikely that wr will return.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Stunning hotel I would say the best on Waikii beach having looked round a couple of the other 5* properties there. Room was spotless and pool area lovely. Quite a small boutique type feel to the hotel which was nice compared to some of the bigger resort style propoerties located inthis area. Ate at Orchids and food was very good quality. Sunset drinks in the evening watching the entertainement/dancing was a great experience. Would definately recommend this hotel for couples looknig for a luxury upscale hotel.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

If you are familiar with the philosophy of wellness and balance at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ, you'll find the same care here. The practitioners are superb. The Spa Halekulani is hands "on" the BEST spa for massage, facials, manicures, and hair in Hawaii. Enjoy!!!!

Room Tip: I thought I had "seen it all" in the world of luxury hotel rooms. The Orchid Suite has a s...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights at the end of January. I do not find that any hotel in Hawaii compares to the elegance and service of certain five-star luxury hotels in Europe and Asia. But the Halekulani would qualify for me as the best offering in the state of Hawaii.

We reserved this through a travel agency signature hotel package that included free breakfast buffet and a guaranteed upgrade from a paid oceanview room to an oceanfront room. Our room was on the 7th floor (I believe out of 15 floors) with a direct view over the ocean from our balcony.

The room is advertised as 522 ft. This includes a generously sized bathroom with separate bathtub and shower as well as separate toilet room. The bathroom only has one sink (a little drawback) but one wall is actually the closet doors, mirrors from top to bottom, which as woman I found very nice.

Aside from really nice rooms and amazing views, another real advantage to staying here is that it is a much more quiet property than others I know in Waikiki. It was a stark contrast to the Royal Hawaiian where we stayed one night earlier in the month, which is much busier and more crowded.

The TV is high quality, which may sound strange but not all flat screen TVs in luxury hotels have excellent picture resolution.

I found it strange though that for a luxury hotel that includes a Blue-Ray DVD player in each room, there is no DVD library available. (In one luxury hotel from the Peninsula Hotels properties, the concierge faxed me a list of available DVDs for their hotel).

The room is definitely very comfortable though seemed a bit small for 2 people--I will splurge for a least a junior suite next time.

The food quality is overall excellent as is the service.

The location is also excellent, literally a block from all the great shopping in Waikiki.

The WIFI was very spotty though and not usually available in the public areas--only in our room.

I would advise staying here if, like me, you value being in a quieter property with excellent ocean views, excellent service and closest proximity to the most expensive stores in Waikiki.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
florida
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

Have stayed here many times and it always feels like home. The staff is extremely friendly and cordial. The rooms have special amenities with a surprise gift every day. The bathrooms are luxurious and equipped with all you would possibly need. Beds are super comfortable. Orchids and La Mer are excellent and the Hula Show at House without a Key during sunset is worthwhile. Lewers Lounge is quite romantic with great jazz. There is everything to like at this very special hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Halekulani Hotel

Address: 2199 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#5 Business Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Halekulani Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 453
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Halekulani has been hosting visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years. Today its reputation for gracious hospitality, impeccable service and magnificent cuisine is unequaled on Oahu and renowned, throughout the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Halekulani Hotel Honolulu
Halekulani Hotel Hawaii/Honolulu

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